Adrian Chan (2012)

adrianAffiliation at the time of the award: Carleton University, Systems and Computer Engineering.

Citation: Some students praise Adrian’s enthusiasm, mastery, and commitment. The most-repeated word in his file, however, is “humble.” Adrian’s teaching and his life demonstrate the sheer power of humility. Its force shows in students’ comments. They note the difficulty of the material and how hard they had to work in his course; still “it was the best course I’ve ever taken.” Invariably, they remark Dr. Chan’s effect on their lives, both academic and personal. They point to his openness, his unassuming nature, sharing stories of his family and rich personal life. They sense the joy life gives him.

For seven years, Adrian has been active in the Shad Valley Program, an intensive summer school for high-achieving Canadian students. Regarded by students and peers as “one of their greatest teachers,” Seeking improvement, Adrian still registered in the Teaching Skills Certificate course. “I am a teacher. I think of legacy in terms of the stories my children might tell their children about their father, and this frames my approach to life. I want to give of myself to leave a world behind that is better than when I found it.”